Black Tie Gala Held at Beverly Hilton Hotel Honoring Latino Talent, Latino-Themed Projectslroom

August 12, 2011 – Beverly Hills, Calif.  Winners of the 26th Annual Imagen (Spanish for “image”) Awards, honoring positive portrayals of Latinos and Latino culture in entertainment, were announced tonight at a star-studded dinner ceremony held in the International Ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel.  The awards, hosted by actress Maria Canals-Barrera, star of Disney Channel’s Emmy-winning “Wizards of Waverly Place,” were handed out in front of an audience of approximately five hundred attendees representing the entertainment industry and Latino community.  Among celebrities in attendance were Edward James Olmos, Kenny Ortega, Esai Morales, Mark Ballas, Cote de Pablo, Eva La Rue, Lupe Ontiveros, Victoria Justice, Alexa Vega, among others.  Also in attendance were U.S. Secretary of Labor and former local congresswoman, Hilda L. Solis, and PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger.

Helen Hernandez, president of The Imagen Foundation, said: “We are proud of all the accomplishments that Latinos have achieved thus far throughout all facets of the entertainment industry; however, we must strive for continued progress of inclusion, particularly in decision-making and creative roles throughout the industry.  I would like to personally thank all our corporate sponsors as well as Latino community leaders for their continued support of The Imagen Foundation and our mission.”

Winners were selected in 19 different categories from film, television and the internet, and judged by an independent panel of entertainment industry executives and Latino community leaders.  Special recognition went to Latino Public Broadcasting, who received the Norman Lear Award, named for the veteran television producer who conceived the Imagen Awards program, and Walt Disney “Imagineer” Alfredo M. Ayala, who was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Following are the winners for this year’s Imagen Awards in their respective categories. Please note that there were no nominees for Best Feature Film Director but a new category, Best Young Actress/Television, was added:

  • Best Primetime Television Program or Movie-of-the-Week:  Law & Order: Los Angeles (NBC)
  • Best Actor/Television:  Freddy Rodriguez, CHAOS (CBS)
  • Best Actress/Television:  Martha Higareda, Lies in Plain Sight (Lifetime Television)
  • Best Supporting Actor/Television:  Carlos Gómez, The Glades (A&E)
  • Best Supporting Actress/Television:  Eva La Rue, CSI: Miami (CBS)
  • Best Young Actress/Television:  Selena Gomez, Wizards of Waverly Place (Disney Channel)
  • Best Children’s Programming:  Dora The Explorer (Nickelodeon)
  • Best Documentary/Television:  The Longoria Affair (Latino Public Broadcasting)
  • Best National Informational Program:  Maria Hinojosa: One-on-One (WGBH)
  • Best Local Informational Program:  Eye on Our Community (KCBS-TV)
  • Best On-Air Advertising:  Dora 10th Anniversary Campaign (Nickelodeon)
  • Best Variety or Reality Show: Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel (HBO)
  • Best Feature Film:  Gun Hill Road (Motion Film Group/SimonSays Entertainment)
  • Best Actor/Feature Film: Esai Morales, Gun Hill Road (Motion Film Group/SimonSays Entertainment)
  • Best Actress/Feature Film:  Michelle Rodriguez, Tropico de Sangre (Maya Entertainment)
  • Best Supporting Actor/Feature Film:  Miguel Sandoval, Spoken Word (New Mexico Media Partner/Luminaria Films)
  • Best Supporting Actress/Feature Film: Adriana Barraza, From Prada to Nada (Pantelion Films/Lionsgate)
  • Best Theatrical Short or Student Film:  The  Big Deal (Lucy Rodriguez)
  • Best Web Series:  Chismex (mun2)

Major sponsors of this year’s event included Nielsen, Fox Deportes, PBS SoCal, The Walt Disney Company, Disney/ABC Television Group, NBCUniversal, CBS, The Gas Company, Lear Family Foundation, ABC7, Paramount, Latino Public Broadcasting, Warner Bros. and LATV Networks.